The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
It is 1962. Kitty is a single businesswoman. She co-owns a faltering bookstore in downtown Denver with her best friend Frieda. She has a cat and a small apartment within walking distance of work. She has two wonderful and adoring parents. She is happy. She goes to sleep one night and dreams of another life. In this life she is a happily married woman, going by her given name Katharyn, with an adoring husband and children. She lives in a large house and no longer works with, or is even talking to, Frieda. She awakens from the dream back in her life, yet finds herself pulled back to this other reality every night. She is happy in her real life, but she is happy there too. Both feel real, but she knows one is fake. Flip-flopping between versions of her life, versions that each could have been except for one slight, yet major, difference, Kitty/Katharyn must decide what makes her happy and after experiencing another version of her life whether her real life is the one she wants to live.
This is a wonderfully crafted twisty turny book disguising itself as a simple domestic drama. I found myself unable to put it down. (And I’ve put down many a book this month as the lack of blog entries can attest!) Any woman reading this book will firmly fit into the Kitty or Katharyn categories simply because you either have had or haven’t had children. She makes both lives seem appealing for different reasons since quite simply the lives are just that: different.
For those overwhelmed by their own lives that need a bit of escapism – two experiences for the price of one! This is a book that is much deeper than it seems asking the reader to evaluate what is important in their life.